How can you actively boost your low libido?
There are several things both men and women can do to actively boost low libido, according to research.
- Low libido, or sudden changes in your sex drive, can be overwhelming and cause embarrassment or shame, but this is a common problem that could have many different solutions.
- According to research, managing your anxiety/stress levels, maintaining a healthy diet and proper sleeping habits, and cutting down on things such as alcohol or smoking can all boost your libido.
- Low libido can have many causes (physical, emotional, medical, etc). If you find you are struggling with this and are not able to find a solution, consider consulting a doctor and/or sex therapist to discuss your concerns.
Low libido (a low sex drive) is something that can happen to both men and women for a variety of reasons. It could be a medical, physical, or emotional issue (or a combination of the three) that prevents you from actively seeking out and engaging in sexual activities.
Individuals who are experiencing a low sex drive experience reduced sexual interest and few sexual fantasies or thoughts. As a result, you can't actively engage in sexual intimacy with your partner, as much as you may wish that you could.
If one person in the relationship is struggling with a low sex drive, it can impact both people (and the relationship), causing emotional distance and sexual frustration on both sides.
However, there are several steps (set out by experts) that you can take if you or your partner are experiencing this struggle.
How to boost low libido in men
Properly managing your stress and anxiety can boost libido in both men and women.
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Struggling with low libido can feel isolating and embarrassing. However, according to a study linked in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 19 percent of participants reported a low libido at the baseline of this testosterone study.
If a male is experiencing low libido, there are several things that could be causing it:
- Physical issues such as low testosterone, prescription medications, alcohol, and drug abuse
- Psychological issues such as depression, stress, relationship tension
- Outside factors such as problems at work, a death in the family, emotional turmoil
Talk to your partner about what you're experiencing.
Low libido can be incredibly difficult to talk about with your partner, especially if it's causing problems in the relationship, but it could give you support and help you find alternative ways to connect until you find an answer.
Check your hormone levels and your health with a doctor.
According to WebMD, around 28 percent of men with low testosterone also struggle with low libido. Having low or decreased testosterone levels can impact more than just your sex drive, as testosterone plays a few important roles in the body. Testosterone has also been linked to bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass, and strength.
Completing a physical and bringing up low libido concerns with your doctor can help you rule out any physical things that could be causing your low sex drive. Perhaps a medication that you're on is giving an unwanted side effect. Medications such as morphine, opioid pain relievers, corticosteroids, and certain antidepressants can impact your libido. You may have the option to be moved to another, or your doctor may insist on checking your testosterone levels.
According to the American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines, adult men are considered to have low testosterone (or low T) if their levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter. A simple blood test will be able to tell your doctor your testosterone levels.
Consider meeting with a sex therapist or counselor about any relationship struggles that could be impacting your libido.
Manage your anxiety.
High levels of anxiety and stress are extremely common barriers to sexual functioning for both men and women. You can manage your anxiety by practicing good sleeping habits, exercising regularly, working to improve your relationship(s), speaking with a therapist, or consulting a doctor about anti-anxiety medications.
Regular exercise could be key to maintaining proper hormone levels and boosting sexual function.
Strength training, walking, and swimming may all work to improve sexual function and libido (in both men and women). In fact, one-time acute exercise sessions have been linked to boosted sexual arousal because of the activation of the sympathetic nervous system.
How to boost low libido in women
Creating a healthy lifestyle (healthy eating and exercise habits) can help boost libido in both men and women.
Photo by lzf on Shutterstock
The sexual desires of women naturally fluctuate over the years for various reasons (pregnancy, menopause, illness, life events), and navigating the lows can be incredibly difficult.
If a female is experiencing low libido, there are several things that could be causing it, such as:
- Physical problems, including medical diseases, medications, where you are in your menstruation cycle, hormone changes, etc. can all be causes of low sex drive in women.
- Many women experience severe changes in their hormones and sex drive during and even years after pregnancy or breast-feeding.
- Lifestyle habits including alcohol or drug consumption or smoking can also dull your sex drive.
- Fatigue or exhaustion are commonly reported problems that impact sex drive among women.
Communicate with your partner about what you're experiencing.
According to a survey from the National Women's Health Resource Center, 59 percent of women report that low sex drive has had a negative impact on their relationship, with up to 66 percent of women reporting the low sexual desire impacted communication in their relationship.
Struggling with low sex drive and being unable to find an immediate fix can feel embarrassing and bring up a lot of insecurities - but talking openly about it with your partner can allow you to both understand what's happening and work together to solve the problem.
What you're eating could also impact your libido.
According to a 2015 review study, adding things like maca, tribulus, gingko, and ginseng to your food could help improve sexual function. Additionally, maintaining a healthy (low sugar/high lean protein) diet can boost your sex drive by promoting proper circulation and heart health.
Could a good night's sleep help?
According to a small-scale study, many women explained that a good night's sleep helped increase their sexual desire and arousal the next day. Women who reported longer sleeping times also reported better arousal levels the next day compared to those with shorter sleeping times.
When should I consult a doctor about low libido?
Aside from open communication with your partner and lifestyle changes like a healthier diet, proper sleeping habits and managing stress, communication with doctors, sex therapists and counselors can all be extremely helpful in getting to the root of the problem.
You should consult a doctor about low libido if/when:
- Your libido suddenly drops without any explanation
- Additional symptoms appear, such as high blood pressure, pain, etc.
- Your libido suddenly drops after a surgery, or when you switch to a new medication
- Your low libido is causing relationship problems or psychological distress on you and/or your partner
Enhancing your sex drive will take time, but it is possible to do if you and your partner are committed to trying new things to boost your libido and keep an open line of communication.
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University of Utah research finds that men are especially well suited for fisticuffs.
- With males having more upper-body mass than women, a study looks to find the reason.
- The study is based on the assumption that men have been fighters for so long that evolution has selected those best-equipped for the task.
- If men fought other men, winners would have survived and reproduced, losers not so much.
Built for mayhem<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY2NDIyMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzk4NTQ2OX0.my6nML12F3fEQu3H4G0BScdqgaMZkRQHxgyj-Cmjmzk/img.jpg?width=980" id="906fc" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dd77af7a881631355ed8972437846394" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Ollyy/Shutterstock<p>The researchers are, of course, talking averages here, not stating a rule: There are plenty of accomplished female pugilists, as well as lots of males who have no idea how to throw a punch.</p><p>Even so, says co-author <a href="https://www.wofford.edu/academics/majors-and-programs/biology/faculty-and-staff" target="_blank">Jeremy Morris</a> says, "The general approach to understanding why sexual dimorphism evolves is to measure the actual differences in the muscles or the skeletons of males and females of a given species, and then look at the behaviors that might be driving those differences."</p><p>Carrier has been interested in the idea that millennia of male fighting has shaped certain structures in male bodies. Previous research has reinforced his hunch:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://jeb.biologists.org/content/216/2/236" target="_blank">When a hand is formed into a fist, its structure is self-protective</a>.</li> <li><a href="https://unews.utah.edu/flat-footed-fighters/" target="_blank">Heels planted firmly on the ground augment upper-body power</a>.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24909544" target="_blank">A study examined facial bone structure as being especially well-suited for taking a punch</a>.</li> </ul> <p>(That last one is our favorite. Do you know the German word "<a href="https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Backpfeifengesicht" target="_blank">backpfeifengesicht</a>?" It's an adjective describing "a face that badly needs a punching.")</p><p>"One of the predictions that comes out of those," asserts Carrier, "is if we are specialized for punching, you might expect males to be particularly strong in the muscles that are associated with throwing a punch."</p>
Testing the theory<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY2NDIzMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzMxMTE2MH0.UXJICMy57UPYUWskhK98alctOrPidJL9yxMkz3HDQrM/img.jpg?width=980" id="98718" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b12287684ac3e740b70392e6433a6b8f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Ollyy/Shutterstock<p>The researchers measured the punching — and spear-throwing — force of 20 men and 19 women. The assumption was that early humans were punchers <em>and</em> spear-throwers.</p><p>Prior to testing, each participant had filled out an activity questionnaire so that "we weren't getting couch potatoes, we were getting people that were very fit and active," says Morris.</p><p>For punching, participants operated a hand crank that required movement similar to throwing a haymaker. The purpose of the hand crank was to spare participants any damage that might be inflicted on their fists by throwing actual punches. Subjects were also measured pulling a line forward over their heads to assess their strength at throwing a spear.</p><p>Even though all of the participants, male and female, were routinely fit, the average power of males was assessed as being 162% greater than females. There were no gender differences in throwing strength recorded. Other untested, though presumably likely, hand-to-hand combat activities come to mind including tackling, clubbing, running, kicking, scratching, and biting.</p><p>Carrier's takeaway: "This is a dramatic example of sexual dimorphism that's consistent with males becoming more specialized for fighting, and males fighting in a particular way, which is throwing punches."</p>
Boys will be boys<p>It, er, strikes us as odd that, even in science fiction — hi-tech weaponry notwithstanding — the hero <em>is</em> going to wind up duking it out with some bad guy, or alien, in the climactic battle. What is it about men punching, anyway? Are they more sexually attractive? The study suggests so:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>The results of this study add to a set of recently identified characters indicating that sexual selection on male aggressive performance has played a role in the evolution of the human musculoskeletal system and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in hominins.</em></p><p>It's tough to contribute to the gene pool after being killed in battle.</p><p>Also, while the authors aren't <em>quite</em> saying that males' historical fighting role is mandated by biology and not by social expectations, neither are they quite <em>not</em> saying it.</p><p>As Carrier explain to <a href="https://attheu.utah.edu/facultystaff/carrier-punch/" target="_blank">theU</a>: "Human nature is also characterized by avoiding violence and finding ways to be cooperative and work together, to have empathy, to care for each other, right? There are two sides to who we are as a species. If our goal is to minimize all forms of violence in the future, then understanding our tendencies and what our nature really is, is going to help."</p>
Innovators don't ignore risk; they are just better able to analyze it in uncertain situations.
The Labour Economics study suggests two potential reasons for the increase: corruption and increased capacity.
Cool hand rebuke<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQyMTIyNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NjY1NTYyOH0.0MCPKN3If94mYCNf3mMNrnTvJXjXN_bKLhgk9203EXk/img.jpg?width=917&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C0&height=453" id="1627b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6d76421ba1ea0de4b09956b97e80c384" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A chart showing prison population rates (per 100,000 people) in 2018. The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.